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Sec. Clinton Highlights Water As Diplomatic, Development Opportunity For U.S.

Marking World Water Day in a speech Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said tackling the world’s water problems “represents one of the great diplomatic and development opportunities of our time,” Inter Press Service reports. “It’s not every day you find an issue where effective diplomacy and development will allow you to save millions of lives, feed the hungry, empower women, advance our national security interests, protect the environment, and demonstrate to billions of people that the United States cares,” she said.

Opinion: Expanding Global Fund; Repurposing Wastewater; Financing Global Health Needs

Opinion Piece Outlines Challanges Facing Global Fund In an Economic Times opinion piece, Jeffrey Sachs of the Earth Institute at Columbia University outlines what he sees as “two huge challenges facing” the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria: “The first is lack of financing. … The second challenge is to…

World’s Slum Population Increased By 55M Since 2000, Despite Exodus Of 227M, Report Says

“Almost a quarter of a billion people moved out of slum conditions in the past decade,” but the number of people living in shantytowns around the world “increased by 55 million to 827.6 million as population growth and migration from the countryside outstripped the effect of upward mobility in cities,” according to a U.N. Habitat report, released Friday, in Rio de Janeiro ahead of the five-day World Urban Forum “on the state of the world’s cities,” Reuters reports (3/19).

Former Presidents Bush, Clinton Visit Haiti To Highlight Need For Aid

Former U.S. presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are visiting Haiti on Monday “to spotlight the dramatic need ahead of a critical March 31 U.N. donors conference in New York, where Haitian officials will ask for $11.5 billion in reconstruction help,” the Associated Press/New York Times reports. “It is the first joint visit to the impoverished Caribbean nation for the two former leaders, who were tasked by President Barack Obama with leading the U.S. fundraising effort” after the January 12 earthquake according to the news service.

Haiti Should Have Final Say Over Rebuilding, Preval Says

In an interview with Reuters, Haitian President Rene Preval on Tuesday said that the U.S. State Department Human Rights report, which says corruption is “widespread in all … levels of government” in Haiti, is “arrogant” and that Haiti should have the final say in approving plans to rebuild the country after the January earthquake, the news agency reports.

Global Access To Safe Drinking Water Increased, Sanitation Lagging Behind, WHO-UNICEF Report Finds

A report released Monday by the WHO and UNICEF documents mixed progress in improving drinking water and sanitation conditions worldwide, VOA News reports (Schlein, 3/15). “The report – presenting the latest data on improved sources of sanitation and drinking water in 209 countries or territories – is aimed at assisting policy-makers, donors, government and non-governmental agencies decide what needs to be done,” U.N. News Centre writes (3/15).